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Martin wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • Is artificial insemination of animals a mortal sin?

On my family farm we no longer use a bull completely to put the cows in calf (get them pregnant). My brother has learned artificial insemination and has the equipment to put the cows in calf himself with straws of specific good breeds of the bull's sperm.

  • Is this okay or against Church teaching for animals?

I am not sure myself. If it is against Church teaching, I have no say in this issue on the farm.

  • Should I refuse to help with the animals for artificial insemination?

God bless,


  { Is artificial insemination of animals a mortal sin? }

John replied:

Hi Martin,

No, it is not against Church teaching because while animals mate for procreation, they don't become one flesh, as a man and woman do.

There is no unitive act of self-giving love between animals. They don't have immortal souls, nor the cognitive ability to understand such a relationship.

The reason artificial insemination is a sin, is the same reason that artificial birth control is sin. Both:

  • artificially separate the self-giving act or unitive act from the procreative act.


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